Slow on the draw

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Why are smokers reluctant to exchange the risks of cigarettes for the health benefits of e-cigs, asks Neil McKeganey. E-cigarettes have been characterised by Public...

On a mission to cure hep C

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Curing hepatitis C has become a reality and makes sense for the public purse as well as public health. So let’s get on with...

Stay ahead of CQC

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Pleased with your CQC inspection or bruised by the experience? David Finney gives you the key issues. The first phase of inspections of substance misuse...

Vote of confidence

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As Phoenix Futures launches its new strategy, with the strapline ‘The charity that is confident about recovery’, DDN hears about the ideas behind it...

A different pain

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James Elander shares his new research on painkiller addiction and how to spot the warning signs. Addiction to prescribed pain relief is a serious and...

The emperor’s new clothes

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Pockets of good practice throughout the country should not mask the fact that the ‘recovery agenda’ is failing, says Howard King. Since the end of...

On borrowed time

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The delayed drug strategy – and lack of plan for an alcohol strategy – is pulling the lifeline from a sector in crisis, hears...

Time to talk

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Talking therapies are among the many options that should be offered alongside OST, says Clive Hallam. Recently, a post on social media considered the question...

Stuck in the system

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New treatment for hepatitis C has opened up massive opportunity for all-round health gains that we are just not taking, hears DDN. We need to...

Under pressure

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The celebrity craze for stress pills is even reaching schoolchildren – should we be concerned? Kevin Flemen looks at the risks and availability of...

More choice, more options

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New versions of drugs are constantly being developed and trialled, including injections of naltrexone and buprenorphine that can last up to six months, as...

Springboard to success

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RAPt’s apprenticeship programme is helping people to use their experience of addiction to get back into work, as Nathan Motherwell explains. Since 2013 RAPt have...

Creating a future

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Prison can be an opportunity to change deep-rooted behav­iour and begin to flourish, say the team at Addaction tell DDN. ‘I have learnt that the crime...

Prison perspectives

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A first-person account of nearly a decade at the frontline of prison substance misuse services. Last year I resigned from my position as a service...

Finding balance

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In the therapy room at DDN Conference, Lois Skilleter and Sam Lofthouse gave delegates a taster of massage and Reiki. Lois explains the treatments. This...

Counter culture

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As the friendly and regular face at the heart of community-based medicine, the pharmacist has an opportunity to profoundly influence welfare, as DDN reports. ‘If...

Advocating for change

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An inspiring session at DDN Conference heard representatives from user involvement and engagement programmes describe the power of effective partnerships. ‘We all need to make efforts...

Life and death issues

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Drug-related deaths dominated the DDN conference’s Big Debate session, which gave delegates the chance to put their views across.   ‘When people talk about drug-related deaths it’s about numbers...

Power of ten

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The opening session of the tenth DDN service user conference, One Life, mixed stark reflections on drug-related deaths and budget cuts with powerful exhortations...

A matter of conviction

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Tony Margetts looks at whether prison reform is heading in the right direction. For all the wrong reasons prisons are in the news. Hardly a week...

A moment to reflect

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Addaction started 50 years ago with a desperate mother writing to the paper about her son’s addiction. Much has changed but the charity’s purpose grows...

Winning attitude

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Being recognised through a national award made Catherine Larkin and Danny Hames realise the value of Inclusion’s eager adoption of a naloxone strategy. Last November...

Adjusting the focus

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Change, grow, live’s executive director of health and social care, Mark Moody, tells DDN about the organisation’s change of name and what it signifies. ‘I...

Safe Corner

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What would persuade a city to accept a drug consumption room? Natalie Davies examines the argument. Glasgow could become the site of the UK’s first...

Making choice real

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How can we improve the range of options available to bring more people into services, asks DDN. The options that exist for drug treatment surely...

By hook or by crook

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We’re not reaching people with problematic cannabis use says Lizzie McCulloch, whose report Black sheep offers a new approach to policy and treatment. Cannabis is...

Across the great divide

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Contemplating a landscape of change and fear, HIT Hot Topics speakers called for solidarity. DDN reports. ‘When we meet someone, we ask what music they...

Review of the year

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As the old Chinese curse has it, ‘may you live in interesting times’… A truly seismic year for world events saw the triumph of populist...

A name not a number: ‘Behind every drug-related death statistic is...

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Behind every drug-related death statistic is a life that could have been saved. It’s our duty to do more, says Dr Judith Yates. I first...

A place to connect: Addaction’s two-day conference

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Addaction’s two-day conference addressed emotional wellbeing while celebrating the value of shared experience, as DDN reports. ‘Learn, share, connect and celebrate,’ urged David Badcock, Addaction’s...

Can positive psychology help to treat dual diagnosis?

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Katalin Ujhelyi, Jerome Carson and Ioanna Melidou share results of a new study. People with dual diagnosis – co-occurring substance misuse and mental health issues...

The importance of harnessing service user activism

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Harnessing service user activism is the key to stopping drug and alcohol services sliding further down the list of ‘targeted outcomes’, says Martyn Cheesman The...

Mental health is in crisis – time to act

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Mental health is in crisis – more so for people from minority groups. How do we reach them before they drown? DDN reports from...

New alcohol medication Selincro is steeped in controversy

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New alcohol medication Selincro has had a controversial route to market, as Mike Ashton explains. In 2013 Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck was authorised by the...

Recovering from hepatitis C: Steps to empowerment through peer support

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There are more than 200,000 people in the UK living with hepatitis C, but only half of these are diagnosed and as few as...

Naloxone outreach – Reaching out

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Now that naloxone is officially ‘out there’, CGL are among those searching for the people most in need of it. DDN reports on their...

Rodrigo Duterte’s punishing regime

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The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has been taking the ‘war on drugs’ to extremes that have shocked the world. DDN asks what,...

Choose life – Recovery Month and Overdose Awareness

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The stakes have never been higher. This year’s Recovery Month and Overdose Awareness Day activities brought service users and recovery communities together with one...

Spreading the word – Painkiller addiction

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In the concluding article in a three-part series, DDN looks at much-needed services offering information and support Buying codeine-based cough medicine from the chemist was...

The discovery of recovery – where did it all start?

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Since 2008 ‘recovery’ has been at the heart of British drug treatment policy. As Mike Ashton reports, it has been used as both an...

Let’s get radical – confronting fears on harm reduction

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Harm reduction measures can be seen as controversial within the wider population, but isn’t confronting public fears an essential stage in moving the agenda...

Model of choice: a new addiction paradigm?

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Trends come and go and nowhere more so than in the shifting world of addiction management, says Dr Julia Lewis. The pendulum seems to swing...

Learning curve: Involving social work students in substance misuse

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Bringing together social work students and people in recovery gave an opportunity to share skills and knowledge, as Marelize Joubert reports. Attending a substance misuse conference...

Back to Reality: alcohol-related brain damage

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Korsakoff’s syndrome is a severe memory disorder, associated with long-term alcohol misuse. Glenn Barnett shares a new model to support those affected and help...

What future for our prisons?

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With NPS problems making regular headlines and a general consensus that the system isn’t working, the UK’s prisons are in bad shape. David Gilliver reports...

Promotional Feature: Hepatitis C and Me

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Kevin Stow, an ex-drug user and previous hepatitis C sufferer shares his experiences and talks about how being cleared of hepatitis C helped give...

Reaching out: painkillers

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How do we find and treat the ‘hidden cohort’ of patients addicted to opioid painkillers? In the second of a three-part series, DDN reports ‘People...

Pole to pole

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Is harm reduction the primary goal, or acceptable only in the service of eliminating drug use? Mike Ashton examines two very different sets of...

Promotional Feature: Recovery in the Community Conference

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Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up Headline Speaker Announcement: Paul Schmitz CEO, Leadership Inside Out   We will be opening this year’s RiTC6 by asking you to look...

Cry For Help

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Painkiller addiction is a growing issue. In the first of­­ a three-part series, DDN asks, are we responding? Painkillers are a growing market and prescribing...

Behind Closed Doors

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Encouraging clients to talk about their childhood can help to release them from the long-suppressed trauma of abuse, as psychotherapist Elaine Rose explains Enduring adversity...

Force for Change

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How can we develop our work­force against a backdrop of cuts and challenges? DDN reports from the FDAP conference. ‘Services are now expected to do...

Promotional Feature: Made to Measure

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It’s time to ditch the ‘one size fits all’ approach and be ready to respond to clients’ needs – whatever stage they’re at says...

Safe Space

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Wales is gearing up to offer medically supervised injecting centres – an initiative that can’t happen soon enough, says Ifor Glyn  There is a growing...

Detox in a box

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Encouraged by results of a new form of community opiate detoxification, a team from substance misuse services in Bristol and the South West offer...

Promotional Feature: Embracing Change

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Gloucester House provides 12-step residential rehab for male clients from both statutory and private referrals. An historic 19th century townhouse in the market town...

Promotional feature: Stigma: Hepatitis C and drug misuse

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Supporting people infected with hepatitis C presents distinct challenges. An understanding of existing barriers to hepatitis C care is important to help empower people with the...

Building a future

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Steve Hodgkins is the founder and CEO of Jobs, Friends and Houses (JFH) – a multi award-winning social enterprise offering employment, peer support and...

A helping hand

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Phoenix Futures has launched the Griffiths Edwards Fund to champion his belief that ‘no one size fits all’  Access to drug treatment saves lives, gives...

Identity crisis

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UK governments agree that above all what they want out of treatment is ‘recovery’. Some of the most marginal, damaged and unconventional of people...

Work, rest and play

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Addiction can be like swimming in shark- infested waters, but the recovery community are like people in a life raft holding out their hands,...

The inspector calls

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David Finney gives the latest essential chapter on preparing for Care Quality Commission inspection Do you know what’s happening with CQC inspections? You may have...

Damp Squib?

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You wait nearly 20 years for an UNGASS on global drug policy and then... well, not much. See below for the sector’s reactions to...

False economies

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Is the focus on recovery undermining a highly skilled workforce? As Neil McKeganey said in 2010 (in Controversies in Drugs Policy and Practice), if you...

Barriers to work

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Last July the government asked Dame Carol Black to conduct an independent review into the challenges of getting and staying in work for people...

Capturing Quality

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ISO9001 is an internationally recognised, universal quality assurance standard most often associated with the manufacturing industries. So how can a system designed to ensure...

Complex Care

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Have you noticed the world is getting more complicated? It's not just technology that's stretching our capabilities but, in the addictions field, it's the...

Hepatitis C : new hope, old problems

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE  People with hepatitis C in the UK have a greater chance of being cured now than at any other point in the history...

Emotional rollercoaster

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Offering support to families affected by addiction means acknowledging the ups and downs of a close bond, says John Taylor Recently I made a film...

Different wavelengths

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The countdown to the Psychoactive Substances Act has been marked by controversy. Kit Caless shares debate from Addaction’s recent conference Last month, the Psychoactive Substances Act...

A smack in the eye — Michael Linnell’s graphic harm reduction...

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Thirty years after Michael Linnell’s first graphic harm reduction campaigns burst onto the scene he recalls the outrage – and the results – that spurred him...

Painful inheritance – NACOA’s annual lecture 2016

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NACOA’s (the National Association for Children of Alcoholics) annual lecture at the House of Commons set out an action plan to give the issue...

Meet Oscar, the DDN baby!

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Jason and Elizabeth met at a DDN conference and brought little Oscar to meet us at this year’s event Four years ago I was at...

Are you involved?

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Asking delegates from all over the country for a picture of service user involvement brought forth some distressing stories of groups being dissolved, dysfunctional partnerships...

Body and soul

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Therapists Lois Skilleter and colleague Sal Crosland gave free tasters of their energy-balancing treatments to delegates throughout the day. Lois explains some of the...

Get the Picture

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State of the Nation: One of the day’s lunchtime sessions heard delegates debate the current state of English drug policy ‘The subtitle of this session...

Big Business

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‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have valuable skills,’ Big Issue founder John Bird told delegates in the day’s powerful final session ‘Get money....

Giving Voice

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The morning’s second session, chaired by Peter Hunter, allowed audience members to put their concerns to some of the sector’s key players The new drug...

Picture This

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The day’s opening session heard a range of passionate presentations on the theme of getting your message across ‘I didn’t know how long I’d had hep...

Promotional feature : An honest relationship

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It’s time to stop relying on outdated treatment models and offer clients an approach they can relate to, says Kenneth Robinson One of the most challenging...

Take-home naloxone in prisons

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Research consultant, Arun Sondhi, from the Centre for Public Innovation (CPI), talks to DDN about the findings of his latest research into take-home naloxone...

From little acorns…

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There’s still time to book... https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/conference ‘Don’t get mad, get organised’ said Si Parry from Morph at the first DDN national service user involvement conference in...

Words for the wise

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Harry Shapiro has launched a new drug information service with his former DrugScope colleague, Jackie Buckle. He tells us more I am very pleased to announce...

Learning for life

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Education and training are often discarded when substance use takes over. Richard Johnson describes how ANA’s new programme is helping clients to reconnect ANA was...

Tough measures

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Kit Caless examines some of the issues behind the rush to outlaw new psycho­active substances (NPS) The third reading of the Psychoactive Substances Bill took...

Burden of grief

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Helping families through the guilt and anger of losing a loved one can be gruelling for practitioners. Esther Harries looks at how to be...

Hit Hot Topics

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Stigma, misunder­standing and a lack of communication cloud our policy and practice on drugs, said speakers at HIT Hot Topics. DDN reports on their ideas for...

Generation drink

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A major new report sheds light on the alcohol habits of the over-50s. Are they risking drinking themselves into an early grave? Last month the...

Dark days review of the year 2015

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There wasn’t very much to celebrate in 2015, a year that saw both England and Scotland record their highest ever number of drug-related fatalities,...

Festive Cheer

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This Christmas day will see the fifth Bubic Christmas dinner for our service users. Previous years’ events have been a huge success and...

Leaner and keener

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In a climate of austerity the new drug strategy must grow from our successes, says Paul Hayes on behalf of Collective Voice Next month the...

Tread softly

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How can we tackle child safeguarding without risking disengagement? DDN hears a cautionary perspective from public health nurses. This focus on child protection is a...

Safeguarding conference 2015 – playing safe

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Are we doing enough to protect children from their parents’ drug and alcohol use? At a recent safeguarding conference there was plenty of cause...

Bucking the trend

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Unlike in England, drug deaths in Wales have been falling since 2010 – a result that can be traced to Welsh public health...

The state we’re in

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Forcing stable people off their heroin scripts and into chaos is evidence of a British drug treatment system in terminal decline, says Erin O’Mara ‘I...

Supporting vulnerable women

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Take a bow Nicky Goulder talks about how an acting workshop is supporting vulnerable women in east London For over five years, arts charity Create has helped...

Addiction and recovery in East London

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The times they are a changin’ As Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) celebrates 50 years of helping people in recovery, CEO Graham Marshall looks back at...

Literacy and drug treatment

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The writing’s on the wall Literacy issues can be a barrier to participant engagement and successful outcomes in substance misuse treatment programmes. Richard Homer explores...

Service user involvement

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The worm has turned The Worm, a new service user-led magazine recently launched in Haringey, is tackling stigma and promoting a positive image of people...

Recovery and drug treatment

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Tackling the deficit Can an entrepreneurial recovery culture overtake an ailing treatment system? Mark Gilman, Peter McDermott and Peter Sheath examine the politics ‘Homophily’: the idea...

Specialist recovery housing

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No place like home Phoenix Future’s new report Building recovery friendly communities makes the case for specialist recovery housing as a pathway to long-term recovery. Karen...

UK drug policy reform

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Off track? Drug treatment is being derailed by the sector’s refusal to push for reform, says Ian Sherwood The distressing reality of drug dependence alters little...

Alcohol and drugs in the news

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Media savvy The news and views from the national media Laws against smoking have irreversibly shifted attitudes. The same drive is needed for alcohol consumption. The...

Post-its from practice

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Sometimes the drug or alcohol problem isn’t obvious, says Dr Steve Brinksman  Marco rarely came to the surgery. He was a 44-year-old restaurant owner with...

Substance misuse safeguarding

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On the safe side We mustn’t be afraid to engage with parents about sensitive safeguarding issues, says Kevin Crowley As a social care and health charity,...

Recovery month 2015

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Recovery round-up Throughout September, thousands of people across the UK got together to celebrate recovery – with fund-raisers, festivals and plenty of fun. DDN gets...

Harm reduction at the NNEF meeting

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On the front line Matt Johnstone brings harm reduction news from the annual NNEF meeting  The National Needle Exchange Forum (NNEF) held its annual meeting in...

Addictive behaviours conference

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The appliance of science The first pan-European multi-disciplinary conference on addictive behaviours looked at how science and research can translate into policy and practice. DDN...

Potent cannabinoid use

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Reinventing cannabis Why are ‘risky’ and ‘unpleasant’ new versions of cannabis replacing the real thing? Adam Winstock shares findings from the Global Drug Survey. For the last...

Reducing the supply of high strength alcohol

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Drink smart DDN hears about the results from three city-wide schemes aimed at reducing the supply of high strength beers and ciders Ipswich Simon Aalders, public health...

Sport in recovery

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Good sports Pat Berry and Ron Bell talk about how they help service users improve their wellbeing and build self-confidence from exercise Playing sports on...

Changing negative behaviours in treatment

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Promotional feature Challenging attitudes A decade of experience has shaped Intuitive Thinking Skills’ successful approach to attitude change, as Peter Bentley explains In 2003, I was coming...

Drug use in prisons

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Promotional feature A new profile of drug use in prisons Mark Napier talks to DDN about the emergence of the complex problem of novel psychoactive substances, and...

Views from the substance misuse sector

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Media savvy The news and views from the national media Buying ethically produced food, and making a statement about yourself by doing so, is now so...

tobacco plain packaging

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Plain talk Has tobacco plain packaging actually worked, asks Neil McKeganey Since announcing in 2012 that all tobacco products had to be packaged in plain form,...

Prescription opioids in the US

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Too scared to prescribe Dr Chris Ford finds that in the US, new restrictions have had negative consequences for patients in pain I was recently discussing...

Bereavement and addiction

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Cause and effect Last issue, we reported on a set of guidelines about supporting those bereaved through drug and alcohol related death. John Rossington looks...

CQC inspections

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Get in gear David Finney guides you through the new CQC inspections The Care Quality Commission has just published guidance on the new way in which...

European Network of People who Use Drugs

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Hands across Europe It’s an exciting time for activism and advocacy among people who use drugs, says Mags Maher For the first time in years, Europe...

Legislation to allow naloxone to be more widely available

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Ready for action Naloxone is to be made more readily available next month. Public Health England’s Steve Taylor looks at how local services and commissioners...

Scottish drug deaths

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Stark statistics Scotland has recorded its highest ever number of drug-related deaths. DDN looks at what’s behind this bleak trend, and what could be done to...

Diverted methadone

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Kill or cure? Is it time for us to reappraise our relationship with the ‘life-saving’ drug methadone? Dave Marteau discusses the evidence Since the early 1970s,...

Comment from the substance misuse sector

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Letters and comment  DDN welcomes your Letters Please email the editor, claire@cjwellings.com, or post them to DDN, CJ Wellings Ltd, 57 High Street, Ashford, Kent...

Views from the substance misuse sector

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Media savvy The news and views from the national media Yes, politicians who abandon the failed mantra of the drug war risk the incandescent rage of...

The Naloxone Action Group

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Keep nagging on naloxone, says the naloxone action Group DDN listened to a lively lunchtime meeting of The Naloxone Action Group (NAG) at the RCGP...

Substance-related bereavement

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A right to grieve How can support be improved for those bereaved through drug or alcohol-related deaths? A new set of guidelines offers advice for...

2015 RCGP national conference

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Better together With primary care facing its severest set of challenges, delegates at the 2015 RCGP national conference argued vociferously for GPs to remain at the...

Recovery in the North West

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Recovery rising Ray Jenkins and Mark Gilman talk about the North West’s contributions to the UK recovery movement The North West of England has a...

Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Group

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Sharing knowledge Andy Irving discusses a new project in Sheffield aimed at promoting research, good practice and joined-up working A group of researchers from Sheffield Hallam...

Ban on electronic cigarette use

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Electrical Storm With a controversial ban on electronic cigarette use in public places in Wales now looking likely, DDN hears from anti-smoking charity ASH on why,...

Health risks of sugar

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Hidden menace For those with a history of addiction the well-publicised health risks of sugar could pose serious dangers. Nutritionist Helen Sandwell looks at the...

UK drug policy

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Get real The government’s drug policies are not grounded in reality, says law student Alice Gambell Reading the government’s annual review of its 2010 drugs strategy,...

Cycling for recovery

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The ultimate challenge John Lowes takes us with him on a very personal journey Today I walked two miles, swam one mile, cycled 20 miles...

News from the substance misuse sector

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Media savvy The news and views from the national media The alleged purpose of the Bill is to ‘protect hard-working citizens from the risks posed...

Smoking cessation

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Why don’t we take smoking cessation seriously, asks Dr Steve Brinksman Sajid looked quite bemused when I started talking to him about smoking cessation. ‘I...

Using life skills to aid recovery

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Natural remedy Kate Furey talks about how she used long-forgotten skills to get her life back on track My life started to spiral out of control...

Online support for women in recovery

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Women first Annalice Sibley talks about how she set up an online support group to help women in recovery After working with women in substance misuse...

Treatment at Chandos House

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A dog’s life James Dickinson shares the story of Bert, the unofficial head of treatment at Chandos House Born to two workaholic and exercise-addicted parents, Bert...

Prepare for your CQC Inspection

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Definitely, maybe… David Finney tells you how to prepare for your CQC Inspection, ahead of the latest changes   I wonder if, every time the doorbell rings, you imagine...

Meeting the needs of anabolic steroid users

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A growing problem  Users of anabolic steroids are now the biggest client group in many needle and syringe programmes. David Gilliver talks to Jim McVeigh...

Recovery Street Film Festival 2015

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Share your story Storytelling through film can play an important role in recovery, says Lou Boyd The Recovery Street Film Festival was founded as a way...

Naloxone distribution

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Fast forward on naloxone distribution Progress on naloxone distribution is still slow and inconsistent throughout the UK. DDN asked naloxone champion Philippe Bonnet for some...

Harm reduction at music festivals

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The song remains the same Music festivals may go hand in hand with drug culture, but we can be loud and clear on harm reduction,...

From our foreign correspondent

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In her first international column Chris Ford looks at Ireland’s lack of naloxone provision Noticing a number from abroad, I answered my phone. Before I...

Media savvy

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The news and views from the national media Substance misuse policy is, of course, a subject of passionate debate at all points on the political...

European Alcohol Conference

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Shake it up Speakers called for a fresh look at policy and new ways to engage drinkers at the European Alcohol Conference, held at the...

Treatment challenges of novel psychoactive substances

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Novel ideas Dima Abdulrahim talks about meeting the treatment challenges of novel psychoactive substances When it comes to managing substance misuse, there is an existing –...

Engaging dependent drinkers

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Pathway to change Mike Ward talks about a new project that is aiming to engage dependent drinkers with treatment services Often those of us working in...

Occupational support during recovery

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All in a day's work Sue Bright describes how offering occupational support can bolster an individual’s recovery journey How many activities have you already carried out...

Make or break time?

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In a couple of days the country goes to the polls for one of the most unpredictable – and significant – elections in decades....

Care at Windmill House

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The Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust talk about the specialised, individualised support they offer Windmill House is a specialist unit in Chertsey, Surrey,...

Media savvy

0
The news and views from the national media Isn’t it time for a wider discussion on the potential effects of safe, regulated cannabis consumption on...

No hiding place

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Efforts to stop drugs from being smuggled into prisons are failing – so why aren’t we tackling prisoners’ drug use through universal testing, argues...

Recovery in action

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  Dear Albert’s Jon Roberts talks to DDN about film screenings, mutual aid facilitation, and their new, innovative recovery programme   DDN: Dear Albert – it’s a...

Off the record

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A frontline drug worker, once a service user himself, warns against being taken in by the politicians’ promises  I grew up in a northern town...

New approaches to alcohol

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The management of alcohol as a consumer product, a health risk, and as part of our economy raises different challenges, to be tackled by...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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DDN takes a look at local news from the substance misuse field across the country   Drugs worker to run London marathon A drugs worker based in Somerset...

Comment from the drug and alcohol field

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The DDN letters and comments page, where you can have your say about the drug and alcohol sector. To be included in the next magazine,...

Drug use in prisons

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No hiding place Efforts to stop drugs from being smuggled into prisons are failing – so why aren’t we tackling prisoners’ drug use through...

Drugs counselling in prisons

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First person Rev Peter Lolley trained as a drugs counsellor with the prison service. As he nears his retirement he shares his experience as a...

Young people and drugs

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Active education Caroline Bridges shares how Loudmouth’s drama projects are educating young people about drug and alcohol issues This month we will have been running for 21...

Substance use and sight-loss

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Seeing the picture Wulf Livingstone talks to DDN about an innovative study that explores the relationship between substance use and sight loss This article summarises a recently...

Competent compassion in services

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We’ve lost that loving feeling How can we refocus drug and alcohol services on competent compassion, asks Dr Joss Bray The situation in drug and alcohol...

LGBT drug support

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User friendly London Friend chief executive Monty Moncrieff talks to David Gilliver about the treatment needs of the LGBT community and the challenge posed by...

Service user involvement

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Keep it real! The exhibition area was a vibrant bustle of networking all day as service user groups shared information on their activities. What did...

User involvement at the 8th service user conference

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In the spotlight Sophie Sherrington came to the conference as a delegate but found herself on stage singing True Colours to rapturous applause I came to...

Richard McCann shares his story

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Against the odds The day’s final session saw an uplifting presentation from Richard McCann on the challenge of achieving things he’d never thought possible, and...

Naloxone advocacy

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Let's get it out there The day saw repeated calls for life-saving, and cost-effective, naloxone to be made more widely available.  ‘The case for take-home naloxone...

Coverage from the 8th national service user conference

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Challenging times Delegates at The challenge – getting it right for everybody heard a succession of powerful and inspiring presentations on the theme of overcoming...

Challenging the drinks industry

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Fight the power Six months into her new job, Alcohol Concern chief executive Jackie Ballard talks to DDN's David Gilliver about communication, information, and standing...

Local news from the substance misuse field

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DDN takes a look at local news from the substance misuse field across the country Self-harm help goes mobile A new app has been launched...

New psychoactive substances

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Psychoactive challenge New psychoactive substances don’t show up in mandatory prison drug tests and their use level in jails appears to be soaring, with worrying...

Recovery event in Leeds

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Recovery Jam brought together workers, volunteers and clients from Leeds’ recovery community in a massively collaborative recovery event Early in 2014, a team of representatives...

Making alcohol services accessible

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Avoiding the airlock Entering alcohol services can feel like a trap to the uninitiated. Mark Holmes looks at why technology may offer more people the...

Treatment complete?

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Why are we failing so many people with hepatitis C, even those already in drug treatment, asks Dr Steve Brinksman There is still a lot...

Never a dull moment

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With a general election that could shape the sector for the next five years and beyond now looming, DDN looks back on another dramatic...

Break free

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With many service users struggling to find meaningful paid or unpaid employment, Peter Bentley tells DDN about a new educational course that encourages individuals...

Copenhagen cannabis

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The Danish government has just rejected proposals for ‘contained legalisation’ of cannabis, designed to limit drug misuse and remove profit from the criminal market,...

Cautious optimism

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Just because minimum pricing is on the back burner doesn’t mean it’s time to get despondent, hear delegates at Alcohol Concern’s annual conference ‘I think...

Vital connections

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Communities and conversation are key to making recovery a reality, delegates heard at Addaction’s annual recovery conference. Jill Stevenson reports Communities working together was a...

In mind and body

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This year’s HIT Hot Topics conference delved into neuroscience to challenge our perceptions of drugs and drug taking. Max Daly reports  The fervour around crack...

Close to home

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 Putting families first The third Families First conference heard how the will for family support was there – even if the money was hard to come...

What price life?

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The failure to roll out naloxone distribution in England prompted a multidisciplinary group to meet in London to campaign for change. DDN reports Last year...

A fighting chance

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Military veterans do not tend to do well in traditional treatment settings. Jacquie Johnston-Lynch explains how Tom Harrison House is tackling the challenges head on  I...

On the margins

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DrugScope’s annual conference looked at equality and diversity in the sector at a time of shrinking budgets  ‘We seem to be living in an increasingly...

Half of those living with hep C unaware of their condition

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Around half of people living with hepatitis C infections are unaware that they have the virus, according to a new Public Health England (PHE)...

All in a day’s work – DDN 10 year special

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Many things have changed over the last decade for the DDN team – staff, premises, and even the introduction of canine office mascots. But...

Back in the day – DDN 10 year special

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Three sector stalwarts, who were there at the start, look back at the birth of DDN  When they threw everything into DDN I thought they’d...

The main man

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One of the key figures in the story of drug treatment in England, ex-NTA head Paul Hayes talks to David Gilliver for DDN’s tenth anniversary issue.  Paul...

My, how you’ve changed!

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What has the past decade meant to you and your role? What have been the most significant changes to the sector? And what will...

Community chest

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This year’s RiTC conference asked what a recovery community could and should mean. DDN listened to the debate  ‘Whether through peer-led and mutual aid recovery initiatives...

Staying alive

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Could the recovery agenda be killing people? Alex Boyt makes the case from his own experience. In the mid ’80s, when I found a prescribing...

Scratching the surface

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There’s much to be done to bring together substance misuse and mental health services so we can offer effective care for dual diagnosis, says...

Championing recovery

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Throughout September, more than 100 vibrant activities took place across the country for Recovery Month Elly Sanchez recaptures the fun and inclusivity of RDaSH’s Recovery...

Hidden faces

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To commemorate 30 years of supporting family members affected by loved ones’ drug and alcohol use, Adfam has launched a photo exhibition that celebrates...

New research on non-fatal overdoses

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A group of academics from the University of South Wales has published research on the prevalence of non-fatal overdoses among drug users in Wales Professor...

Walk this way

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Walk this way How does it feel to take part in the UK Recovery Walk? Four participants tell us about their experiences in Greater...

Street wise

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An award-winning scheme has been protecting vulnerable drug-dependent street sex workers from attack. Its director of services, Alex Feis-Bryce, talks to David Gilliver The links...

Recovering hope

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Recovery should be about empowerment and instilling optimism – not about treatment effectiveness and ‘number of years abstinent’, says Alistair Sinclair  It was UK Recovery...

Turning the tables

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People with drug and alcohol problems can be used to a cycle of punishment and low self-esteem. Kaleidoscope used a recovery awards event to reverse...